Discovery Park of America Presents Awards at the 2022 Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Awards Gala and Fundraiser

Union City, Tenn.— On Saturday evening, March 5, Discovery Park of America honored four individuals who, like the museum and heritage park, bring enlightenment, awareness and education to those whose lives they have touched.

The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Awards Gala was attended by a sold-out crowd of 350 who joined Discovery Park in celebrating the award recipients, all of whom have deep roots in the region. The 2022 Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Award recipients were:

  • Anita Kay Archer
  • LtGen John (Glad) Castellaw USMC (Ret)
  • Dr. Ron Kirkland
  • Jerry Reese

More than $100,000 was raised to benefit the museum and heritage park. During the “Fund-a-Need” segment, gifts were raised for the Kirkland Scholarship Fund that provides free admission for students from all K-12 schools with 50% of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunches.

Master of Ceremonies was Jennifer Horbelt, co-anchor of WPSD Local 6 News. Entertainment for the cocktail party was provided by Terry Mike Jeffrey, while dinner entertainment was provided by The Art Edmaiston 4tet.

LtGen John “Glad” Castellaw, USMC (Ret), founder and CEO of Farmspace Systems, summed up the spirit of the evening perfectly by sharing the inspiration he witnessed firsthand when visiting Discovery Park. He said, “I saw a young girl coming down the escalator. As she came down, she saw the dinosaur and the other exhibits for the first time, and as I looked into her bright, shining, excited eyes, I saw that inspiration burning brightly. Rest in peace Robert Kirkland, your dream has come true.”

Discovery Park CEO Scott Williams welcomed the audience and introduced a new video about the museum and heritage park titled, “A Day in the Life of Discovery Park” and shared the 2021 Impact Report. Both can now be viewed online at

Photos and more information about the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Awards Gala can be accessed on Discovery Park’s blog post, and attendees can view and download their photos from the evening on Discovery Park’s Flickr page.

Photo Caption: Honoree Anita Kay Archer (left) and her presenter, Andrea Woods

Photo Caption: Honoree Dr. Ron Kirkland (right) and his presenter, Jim Glasgow

Photo Caption: Honoree Jerry Reese (right) and his wife and presenter, Gwen Reese

Photo Caption: Honoree LtGen John (Glad) Castellaw USMC (Ret) (left) and his presenter, Randy C. Camp

Photo Captions: The 2022 Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Awards Gala and Fundraiser was held in Discovery Park of America’s Dino Hall

Photo Caption: Friends of Anita Kay Archer and Dr. Ron Kirkland took a moment on the red carpet to pose with the Discovery Park cave bear

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